Friday, 27 January 2017

January News Part 4

Lots of projects striding forwards this week...

Great Eastern Railway 1899 4 Wheel Brake Third 853

The ex-PMV brake rigging that was introduced last week has been sorted out and several sections which were still together have been separated so that is is now a full "kit of parts" to work on. Already a good number of these parts have been cleaned down and are now in the process of being painted back up again. A few more challenging pieces which were more severely corroded have had their wasted sections chopped out and replacement steel welded in their place.

Ongoing projects include the doors and work is also progressing again on the exterior bodysides, with moulding repairs and primer painting continuing here and there, particularly on the landward side of the coach.

Great Northern Railway (later M&GN) 1887 6 Wheel Third 129

No progress to report.

British Railways 1960 Restaurant Buffet (Refurbished) E1969

This vehicle has progressed well this week, which is good as we are closely keeping an eye on the timescale of the works due to its commitments to dining operations. All of the aluminium window frames have now been cleaned of old paint and failed sealant and coacted in primer and undercoat in preparation for their refitting to the coach.

Meanwhile welding work has been ongoing on the carriage itself, with many small holes being chopped out and replenished with new metal. Other than round some of the windows, there is no major corrosion on this carriage as it was thoroughly treated approximately 12 years ago, this work is benefiting us now as there are far fewer "nasties" being discovered than in normally the case. The door hinges have all been removed from the door apatures which was a particularly difficult job as we had to strip out parts of the interior to get to the backs of the hinges as the bolts had been bent over from the back to stop them working loose. The window and door apertures have been painted in undercoat and gloss paint over the week, to protect the sections of metal that will be covered up when the windows are put back in.

British Railways 1955 Mark 1 Suburban Composite Lavatory E43041

The exterior of the coach has finally had all of its loose ends tied up after the last of the paint was scraped off the windows. The battery problem described last week was resolved with a few swapping of cells and the lights are now fully operational and ready for service.

Most work has been on the interior. The varnishing process is starting to approach its end now, with the last areas (the First Class loo and corridor) being built up with varnish coats to an acceptable standard. This job has certainly been a marathon rather than a sprint, but the coach positively glows inside! Now that we are finished varnishing, the remaining luggage racking can be fitted.

Each of the compartments and doors have now had their sponsorship plates added, which adds a nice touch and is a small appreciation of all those who helped fund the Suburban 4 project.

The toilets, which as usual have been a real saga, are now also complete and officially ready for use! Lots of plumbing loose ends have been tied up, and the coach's water tanks have been fully filled up and everything tested successfully.

Upholstery work continues, with the First Class end now nearly complete.

British Railways 1958 Class 101 Railcar Driving Trailer Second Lavatory M56352

As with E1969, good progress has been made on the cosmetics of the DMU car. No more filling is required (hooray!) and the vehicle exterior is whole again. This has been achieved by riveting back on all of the components that had been removed, such as the heater air intake grill, cab front windows and destination blind window. With this done, the front end was completed by fitting the new 2-character route indicator box below the centre window, and repairing the driver's side marker light which had fallen apart whilst we were sanding the front end!

With these parts fitted, the last areas of exposed filler were coated in primer and we are now "feathering in" these areas of patch paint (this is a process where the new paint is lightly sanded round the edges where it joins onto the old paint so that there is no visible line after we start painting the vehicle as one large item). It is very likely that full bodyside painting will commence next week.

The roof is now ready for painting, after some failed rivets were replaced and some untidy areas resealed. Towards the end of the week, paint and detritus removal along the gutters was being progressed so they can be in a similar position to receive paint next week. Any limited areas of surface rust on the steel sections of the roof (which is mainly aluminium) has also been treated prior to the proper roof paint being applied, also planned for next week.

The cab interior is also pretty much complete. The replacement secondman's door mentioned last week has had its required adjustments and is now signed off. The interior cab window surrounds have been refitted, a repair made to the desk where it had rotted away and the whole area (which was filthy) hoovered up and made as presentable as it was when it came to us. We do not have time to do any significant restoration to the cab interior, however a quick coat of grey paint has been applied to the two door interiors and around the cab windows in order to even up all the various colours and make it presentable following the repairs.

British Railways 1959 Class 03 Diesel Shunter D2063

This week has been gloss week, with the loco being coated in two coats of blue gloss, with yellow for the ends. Not much more work needs to be done now on this loco before it leaves us and returns to the locomotive department, although the black "wasp strips" do need adding to the front and rear on top of the yellow.

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